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Sununu: Obama Leadership Void Led to Saudi King Skipping Summit

Monday, 11 May 2015 04:04 PM

The decision by Saudi Arabia King Salman and other allied Arab leaders to skip an important Camp David summit is the result of President Barack Obama's penchant to "lead from behind," says John H. Sununu, former governor of New Hampshire and chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush.

"They're sending a message to President Obama. He wanted to lead from behind and they're leaving him behind," Sununu said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show," on Newsmax TV.

"There are very smart people over there who understand that if the United States [president] is not willing to accept his responsibilities as a leader, [he will] not to be allowed to be seen as a leader."

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The New York Times reported
that the king's decision not to attend is an apparent signal of his displeasure with the United States over Iran, a growing regional enemy to Saudi Arabia.

The Associated Press, however, said the White House did not take Salman's decision to skip the summit as a sign of any substantial disagreement with the United States.

"Saudi Arabia is sending over their crown prince, Muhammad bin Nayef, a very smart guy, younger guy, very close to our Defense Department and our security groups," said Sununu.

"He is the right man to be here from Saudi's point of view, but it is obviously a huge disappointment for President Obama that King Salman is not coming himself."

Arab allies are said to feel threatened by Iran's rising influence.

They worry the nuclear arms deal being hammered out between Iran, the U.S., and other nations may embolden Tehran to meddle more aggressively in countries of the region.

Sununu says the turmoil has presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a quandary about how to present her foreign policy views since she was secretary of state under Obama.

"She has to wallow around inside that box and figure out how to dance with it, but she's going to stay in that box because it's as much her mistake and her problem as it is Obama's," Sununu said.

"Remember, she was there during Benghazi, she was there during the crisis in Libya, she was part of the early disaster of crazy foreign policy, not knowing what to do with Syria, and she was there as ISIS was beginning. It's hers. She can't walk away from it."

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The decision by Saudi Arabia King Salman to skip an important Camp David summit is the result of President Obama's penchant to "lead from behind," says John H. Sununu, former governor of New Hampshire and chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush.
John Sununu, Middle East summit, Obama, Saudi Arabia king, skipping, not attending
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2015-04-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 04:04 PM
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